Outside Inside

This project was all about about bringing the outside indoors. The property had already been re-designed with glass, sliding doors to blur the lines between the interior living space and garden. But we wanted to find ways to connect the two environments in a more pervasive way.

This is the home of a large and busy family so the materials used for both house and garden need to work from a practical point of view as well as an aesthetic one. Most important was the choice of flooring. There are so many options from which to choose. We needed to find something that would work well with underfloor heating and could then be matched to a similar product to flow outside onto the patio. It is tempting to conclude that it has to be exactly the same material – and there are some great indoor/outdoor tiles available. But it isn’t necessary. In fact, if you have a large house and large patio, it can look more interesting to have some variation to mark the transition from one area to another. The important thing is to be considered in your choice and if you want the inside and outside to flow, choose products with the same, or very similar colour tones.

We started by looking at the options available for the interior. The property is Edwardian and has a beautiful tiled floor in the hallway and so large tiles would have been a good option. But the look and feel was a touch too contemporary for this particular project. The decision was made to go for wood. There are plenty of very realistic, wood-effect, porcelain tiles available but you will, of course, always see the grout lines. This is perfect for small spaces, particularly bathrooms, but not everyone likes this effect across a large floor area.

Engineered wood is a great option for underfloor heating and so we explored a number of alternatives, with both look and price being very important, until we found this beautiful, wide-planked, smoked oak by Havwood.

Moving outside, we considered using wood-effect porcelain on the patio to blend the floor inside and out but eventually settled for a stone-effect porcelain with a slightly paler colour but very similar warm tone to the wood inside. The shadows thrown by the leaves onto both the patio outdoors and the flooring within draw the two areas together and make for a beautiful decorative effect.

Once we had the architectural structure sorted, we moved on to the the interior decorative scheme. Decorbuddi, Nikki, configured the layout and designed the media unit, instructing the builder, again with budget in mind. Stepped shelving around the unit is perfect for the growing collection of spider and other house plants which all add to that indoor/outdoor theme. The colour palette was developed around the green of the garden, with rich, olive, velvet sofas from Sofa.com and environmentally friendly paints from Paint the Town Green. One wall is papered in a floral Designers Guild paper, which is the inspiration for the planting scheme in the garden, covered in another story.

A bespoke sized Crucial Trading rug in a neutral colour way was selected to connect the sofas and create a conversation area. Our favourite piece of furniture is the amazing living edge Wild Elm table designed and crafted by Made In Brighton. Existing sheepskin rugs and a bit of spray paint were used to make more of the old kitchen chairs until budget can be found for something more special.

As with so many homes, this remains a work in progress, with new pieces being added over time, but the beautiful flooring is the perfect foundation to build upon.